Monday, February 27, 2006

square one

Just finished leading my very first tour around Morocco. Went much better than I had expected. Fortunately, for me, it was only a one week tour, I only had three passengers, and they all knew it was my first tour in the country ... so they let me off easily when I got lost every so often in the souks.

Now I'm on to my 2nd tour. I got my file via email from my manager in London and saw that I had 5 women for 2 weeks. "Great, it'll be a gay old time with the gals,'' I thought. Wrong.

These women are so fucking lame, except for two of them. The remaining three have very strong personalities, are all self-proclaimed independent travellers, but can't grasp the fact they're on an organized tour. Basically, they want nothing to do with structure and are all vying to be the alpha-female of the group. Since, I'm clearly unable to do the job for them.

When I met them on the first night, I knew it'd all be downhill from there. The next morning, when I gave my notorious "Day 2 Briefing" about the trip, Morocco, me, etc. -- I told them to cut the bullshit and just deal with the fact that we're all in this together. I am not getting paid enough to ride their estrogen cycle for the next two weeks. Clearly, I didn't use those words exactly... but I most certainly didn't smile when I told them to stop being so un-fierce.

I guess we'll see what the next 11 days bring (I've survived 4 days already). I'm sure I'll be posting pictures and stories about their sour-faced escapades around the country. I wonder if I gave them some laxatives - would it help? Maybe they're all just a little blocked up.

PS. I totally scored Moroccan ass. *snap


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

love ain't soluble

A non-governmental organisation in Morocco says substance abuse among children has reached alarming levels.The Baiti association says 98% of children living on the streets in Morocco are now addicted to sniffing glue and the number is growing.They shine shoes, beg from passers-by or even sell their bodies in return for the $3 they need to buy a tube of glue.According to a government survey, more than 5,000 children are living on the streets of Casablanca alone.Almost all of them are glue addicts.As poverty and unemployment continue to rise in Morocco, more parents are unable to provide for their children, and more children end up living on the streets.Crisis worsens. Cheap and easy to get, the children use glue to numb the feelings of cold, hunger and rejection.A United Nations report says glue sniffing is making street children prone to tuberculosis, and they are contracting sexually transmitted diseases as they fall back on prostitution to pay for their habit.Najat M'jid, president of Baiti, Morocco's first and only association for the protection of street children, says the situation is urgent as some street children sniff between five and 20 tubes per day."We have to work with the street children very, very soon because when they become dependent on glue it's very difficult to build with them a life project," Mr M'jid says."The impact of the glue on the brain really is a step to marginalisation and delinquency," he says.Baiti is using sport to teach street children about the effects of glue on their lungs, and offers psychiatric counselling.But the association is overstretched and cannot compensate for the lack of state-run social services.Najat M'jid believes if more is not done soon, Morocco is heading for a street children crisis on the scale of Brazil. Loves it.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

i heart crazies

The internet cafe I am in totally smells like meat. And, the computers are super slow because the Moroccans have downloaded so much crazy software so that they can watch porn movies. Gay ones, of course. Loving how repressed everyone is here.

I'm also loving how insane everyone is: handicapped people (missing eyes, jaws, half of their face, growths from their head), people that should be committed (the man in the pink lingerie and the other man that likes to pull out his armpit hair and pile it nicely), and homeless people (at least they don't smell like booze like they do in New York).

I'll attempt to document their insanity in the coming months. Including the glue sniffing phenomenon. Everyone is addicted to glue! I know it shouldn't be funny, but it is. These people have no shame - whether their 10 years old or 60 years old - they just walk around sucking on plastic bags, stumbling around, and giggling to themselves.

Also. It's totally acceptable to wear bathrobes in public. Fashionating, I say.